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This is a rule that used to exist in broadcasting — radio and TV — which required that no opinion could be expressed without a countervailing opinion presented immediately. It was the old salt and pepper rule. If you were on the air with a salt shaker, you had to have a pepper shaker.
Now what this is all about is talk radio. Liberals are complaining that their brand of talk radio fails whenever someone tries to put it on the air, and they have decided the answer is to shut up conservative talk radio. This is the "Hush Rush" movement.
Liberals are angry that so many of you listen to talk radio — conservative talk radio — and that you cannot be dragged over to a liberal talk show. This argument ignores the fact that something like 20 million people a week listen to NPR, which is the very definition of liberal.
What it also ignores is that the Fairness Doctrine applies to all broadcast, not just radio and especially not just talk radio. Liberals should be on notice it will apply to all the liberals who now operate on the airwaves in network TV news, in certain quarters of cable news and, of course, in entertainment TV.
Face it. Liberals own Hollywood. Virtually every movie would be subject to the Fairness Doctrine. Think Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" could stand up to that scrutiny or Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11"? Not a chance.
Do you think HBO can stand to have the Fairness Doctrine applied to what it airs? Bill Maher is going to have an awful time trying to conform to the Fairness Doctrine, and I can't think of a liberal anywhere who wants to shut him up.
What John Kerry and Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin are asking for is to only restrict the broadcasting that conservatives do, mainly talk radio, though I have no doubt they have their plans for FOX News, too.
This is an attempt to take over the airwaves with liberal thought and make sure nothing else gets on. It's already a huge imbalance in favor of liberal thought on the airwaves, and the effort now is to make certain that echo chamber of so-called progressives is undisturbed by any irritating arguments from the right, or debates liberals can't win.
This is liberals in action. When you can't win the debate, make certain there is no debate. That is what the resurgence of the Fairness Doctrine debate is all about.
That's My Word.
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